After an amazing visit to Turkish Air‘s flagship IST lounge, I was back in town eager to check out the competition. With a business class flight on Etihad’s new A350-1000, I got a voucher for the IGA Istanbul airport business lounge. How does it compare? Let’s find out.
IGA Istanbul Airport Business Location
After a blunder that saw me leave the air side of the terminal, I was back at Istanbul’s airport and in need of a shower. I had flown out of Antalya early that morning and didn’t shower as I thought I would be at the lounge within a couple of hours. This turned into several hours as the Etihad Air counter did not open until a couple of hours before my connecting flight. This made me all that much more eager to check out the lounge.
The IGA lounge is located at the end of the main concourse on the left after security. There is signage however I did not pay very close attention and ended up at the very odd IGA business centre on the main floor. This is a fenced-off area in the middle of a food court with computers and printers. From there I asked how to access the lounge above and was pointed back about 50 m to the escalators.
Service and Amenities
The IGA Lounge is contracted with access available to all travellers for a fee. Given IST is a very busy hub, the IGA lounge was super crowded during my visit. Still, I was able to get the most out of my short time and took in all the amenities.
After entering with my voucher, I made a beeline to the showers and found that there was a long wait. The attendant was kind enough to come get me in the lounge once a room became available. In exchange, I left my remaining Turkish lira for him.
The showers are pretty basic with a provided terry cloth towel and slippers that are incredibly slippery on the wet floor. Be careful. There is a storage cubby to sow your bags and clothes as well as a hair dryer and toiletries.
One showered I explored the lounge. I found that the IGA Istanbul Airport business lounge has plenty of great seating options. There are dining areas with tables and loungers as well as a non-alcoholic area which I’m sure can double as a quiet place. The seats next to the kitchen were very busy however if you step around the corner there are plenty of tables to choose from.
Interestingly to note, one table next to me appeared to have table service. I did not see this at any other table so not sure if this is something that they offer.
Besides that, there is a great terrace area overlooking the busy terminal below and a piano roped off that I assume sees the occasional performer.
Wi-Fi access is available through a kiosk at the entrance of the lounge that provides a code. I did not bother as I still had plenty of data left on my global eSIM through Airalo.
The IGA Istanbul Airport Business Lounge also features a kid’s play area and billiard table which is a nice touch. At the entrance/exit, there is a small duty free shop. This makes for a less busy shopping experience for anyone looking to pickup something before boarding.
Food and Drink
The meal service at the IGA lounge was a bit chaotic due to the crowds. I queued up to see what was being served at one of the stations and as I got close was just handed to plate. It was pretty meh as were the readily available salads and desserts. Keep in mind, I was fresh off of a visit to the Turkish Air lounge so I might be biased here. Still, the food at IGA was mediocre at best and similar to what I have experienced at other contracted lounges such as Plaza Premium.
On the positive, the IGA lounge had one station making Turkish pizzas that looked really good. I didn’t wait out the line to try it though.
There is a small bar area serving up basic cocktails and beer.
How to get access
Guests flying on business class or better tickets with partner airlines such as Etihad and British Airways get vouchers to access the IGA Istanbul Airport business lounge for free.
A 4-hours pass to the IGA Istanbul Airport business lounge is available for €75.00. Childeren ages 0-6 are free and 7-12 are €37.50.
Alternativly, access to the IGA Istanbul airport business lounge is complimentary (plus guest) with a Priority Pass. You can get a Priority Pass for free with most premium credit cards like the American Express Aeroplan Reserve. At the time of posting this, applicants can also get up to 90,000 bonus points through my referal.
Is The IGA Istanbul Airport Business Lounge Worth It?
Although I was happy to have a shower and relax before my next big flight, the IGA Istanbul lounge is mediocre at best. As such, I would not recommend paying the hefty entrance fee.
That said, it is a great option if you have a Priority Pass as it does offer plenty of seating options and is a nice escape from the very busy terminal below. Truthfully though, I would choose to fly Turkish Air just to access their fantastic lounge. If IGA is your only option or you will make up value with food and drinks then it is an option.Compare prices on flights to Istanbul with Skyscanner
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